The Shape of Water is the latest offering from acclaimed fantasy-horror director Guillermo Del Toro. It follows the bond that is developed between a mute cleaner and the amphibian man against the sinister backdrop of a high secure bunker during the Cold War. Featuring regular Del Toro collaborator Doug Jones, as well as esteemed performers such as Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins, it has received early high-praise critically and has received multiple BAFTA nominations. Titan Books has put together a companion book for the film which documents its conception and production, Starburst took a sneaky peek…
The book, compiled by Gina McIntyre, takes the reader through an extensive view of the film. It begins with a foreword from Del Toro, before a concise introduction to the film, where the idea came from and what made the idea an attractive prospect for an esteemed director such as Del Toro. It then details the development of each of the film’s significant (human) characters; it includes photos, character developments as well as printed inserts from Del Toro’s personal journal which show his own contributions to the process. Moving on, there’s extensive coverage of the conception, design and development of the star of the show: the amphibian man (Doug Jones). As is common with Del Toro, the amphibian man is an extensive work of costume, which is well documented in this book. What is also well documented is the design process for the sets, a lot being constructed from original designs.
The Shape of Water companion book is a stunning compilation of publicity photos, intimate photos, set designs, developmental designs and stunning pictures of the finished production. It shows the extensive work that goes into the films of Del Toro; for example, he doesn’t just create characters, he documents their likes, dislikes, star signs and brief biographies, a treasure trove for developing a story and developing well-acted performances. The only minor criticism for this work is that the text is rather small if only to make room for the wonderful photos in this book. Here’s hoping that Del Toro’s latest offering lives up to the anticipation of this wonderful compilation.
THE SHAPE OF WATER: CREATING A FAIRY TALE FOR TROUBLED TIME / AUTHOR: GINA MCINTYRE / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW